The historic Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood is taking a hiatus after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant’s owners say they’re making the decision out of an abundance of caution for the safety of staff and customers and plan to reopen in the spring when, they hope, conditions will have improved.
After the March stay-at-home order, Pink’s stayed closed for five months. During that break, the restaurant did its best to prepare for pandemic operations, adding plexiglass shields, mask enforcement, and distancing markers, and having the property deep cleaned by a specialized firm.
But even with those protocols in place, co-owner Richard Pink told the Los Angeles Times that operating amid the current climate has become too risky.
“I just couldn’t live with myself and my guilt, if you will, if … a customer or an employee got sick and they couldn’t get into the hospital,” Pink told the paper. “I just felt that we’re in a crisis situation.”
Around 25 employees will be laid off again, after being brought back on when the stand reopened. Until their unemployment benefits kick in, Pink tells the Times he will continue to pay their wages.
Still, Pink’s plans to bounce back after the current surge subsides, and be there to offer its familiar fare as public life resumes.
“When nightlife comes back to L.A.,” Pink told Los Angeles in August. “We’ll be here until 2 in the morning.”
While the 81-year-old stand is closed, Pink himself does not control the other outposts that license the Pink’s brand and menu. For now, locations including those at Universal City Walk and the Del Amo Fashion Center mall will continue operations as usual.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.